Millionaire's riot daughter Laura Johnson guilty
12:22pm Thursday 5th April 2012 in Where I Live
A MILLIONAIRE'S daughter has been convicted of driving looters on a late-night crime spree at the height of last summer's riots.
Laura Johnson, 20, of Sheepcote Lane, Orpington, chauffeured the group through London on August 8 last year.
As they cruised around south east London, her passengers leapt from the car clad in hooded tops, bandanas and balaclavas before stashing the vehicle with stolen goods.
The University of Exeter undergraduate, who went to Newstead Wood and St Olave's schools, has been convicted of one count of burglary but cleared of a second count of burglary by a jury at Inner London Crown Court.
The jury was continuing to deliberate over a third charge.
Judge Patricia Lees told the panel she would accept a majority verdict on the outstanding charge.
The jury has heard that Johnson set out early in the evening to deliver a phone charger to her friend, Emmanuel Okubote, 20, a convicted crack cocaine dealer and thief, otherwise known as T-Man.
When she arrived at their meeting point in Catford, he jumped into the passenger seat while others climbed into the back of the car, prosecutors said.
Johnson told detectives she was instructed to drive from one place to another late at night and into the early hours of the morning.
When she stopped, her passengers - most of whom she claimed never to have met before - would embark on a looting mission.
Asked why she had not refused to drive that night, she told police: "I didn't get the impression they were the sort of people you say no to... I suppose there's a fear of them, there's a general knowledge that these are just not the kind of people who you don't go along with, especially when they are sat in your car and have an idea of your family or registration plate."
Johnson was joined in the dock by a 17-year-old boy who cannot be named for legal reasons.
The pair were both convicted by the jury of eight men and four women of stealing electrical goods from a Comet store at the Greenwich Retail Park between August 7 and 10 as rioters brought chaos to the capital.
But they were cleared of stealing a television from a Currys shop at Stonelake Retail Park in Charlton between the same dates.